At St. John’s, students must earn their grades. However, the School does not regard grades as a goal, because we feel that as children learn to study and to take responsibility for their own work, they become motivated students and will then earn appropriate grades.
We are impressed more by Cs earned by students on their own than by an A that a student earns with close parental help or excessive supervision. We strongly believe that each child must learn to be responsible for his or her own studies, this is a core tenet of the St. John’s philosophy.
During students’ years at St. John’s, we continuously assess their aptitudes and abilities and will attempt to inspire each child to achieve at a level commensurate with his or her indicated aptitudes and abilities. St. John’s defines aptitude as a student’s potential, assuming his or her interests, motivation, and diligence are ideal. Ability is aptitude delineated by a student’s interests, motivation, and diligence. We can improve “ability” by striving to broaden or focus students’ interests, by developing their sense of independence and self-discipline, and by promoting their diligence. “Achievement,” then, constitutes the measurable results of a student’s work.
Grading Structure and System
All graded work, tests and examinations in core subjects are evaluated with letter grades (A, B, C, D, and F). These grades are described in qualitative terms and provided with numerical range equivalents (on a 100% scale). Plus and minus signs are used to indicate high and low ranges for each letter grade. The exception to this policy is our process for students in Form III (1st grade), who are evaluated on a grading system more appropriate for their stage of learning.
Examinations and Cumulative Grades
Semester examinations are a very important part of college preparatory education and are given beginning in Form VII (4th grade) at St. John’s. Throughout each semester, teachers make sure that students deal with all the factual knowledge, concepts, skills, and processes which may be tested in the examinations. Periodic tests throughout the semester foreshadow the structures and student work which will be required on examinations. St. John’s gradually increases emphasis on semester examinations, training and preparing students for the impact of similar examinations on their work and success in high school (and ultimately university) settings.